Extraordinary payments from former employers.
(a) Disqualification requirement.
Except as provided in paragraph (c) of this section, an employee shall be disqualified for two years from participating in any particular matter in which a former employer is a party or represents a party if he received an extraordinary payment from that person prior to entering Government service. The two-year period of disqualification begins to run on the date that the extraordinary payment is received.
Following his confirmation hearings and one month before his scheduled swearing in, a nominee to the position of Assistant Secretary of a department received an extraordinary payment from his employer. For one year and 11 months after his swearing in, the Assistant Secretary may not participate in any particular matter to which his former employer is a party.
Code of Federal Regulations
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An employee received an extraordinary payment from her former employer, a coal mine operator, prior to entering on duty with the Department of the Interior. For two years thereafter, she may not participate in a determination regarding her former employer's obligation to reclaim a particular mining site, because her former employer is a party to the matter. However, she may help to draft reclamation legislation affecting all coal mining operations because this legislation does not involve any parties.
For purposes of this section, the following definitions shall apply:
Extraordinary payment means any item, including cash or an investment interest, with a value in excess of $10,000, which is paid:
On the basis of a determination made after it became known to the former employer that the individual was being considered for or had accepted a Government position; and
Other than pursuant to the former employer's established compensation, partnership, or benefits program. A compensation, partnership, or benefits program will be deemed an established program if it is contained in bylaws, a contract or other written form, or if there is a history of similar payments made to others not entering into Federal service.
The vice president of a small corporation is nominated to be an ambassador. In recognition of his service to the corporation, the board of directors votes to pay him $50,000 upon his confirmation in addition to the regular severance payment provided for by the corporate bylaws. The regular severance payment is not an extraordinary payment. The gratuitous payment of $50,000 is an extraordinary payment, since the corporation had not made similar payments to other departing officers.
Former employer includes any person which the employee served as an officer, director, trustee, general partner, agent, attorney, consultant, contractor or employee.
(c) Waiver of disqualification.
The disqualification requirement of this section may be waived based on a finding that the amount of the payment was not so substantial as to cause a reasonable person to question the employee's ability to act impartially in a matter in which the former employer is or represents a party. The waiver shall be in writing and may be given only by the head of the agency or, where the recipient of the payment is the head of the agency, by the President or his designee. Waiver authority may be delegated by agency heads to any person who has been delegated authority to issue individual waivers under 18 U.S.C. 208(b) for the employee who is the recipient of the extraordinary payment.